The Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the IAC has signed the ERDF Agreement INSIDE-OOCC (8,139 keuros) to guarantee the implementation of 11 actions of the Strategic Plan approved for the Observatorios de Canarias (OOCC) in 2018. A bried summary of the strategic investments for the Laser Guide Star Facility Development (LGSF) are described below:
Adaptive Optics (AO) systems allow correcting the effects of atmospheric turbulence in the light that comes from scientific object in the sky, to make high spatial resolution observations. AO systems can only operate in regions of the sky where there is a bright star close to the scientific object. To be able to make science with AO anywhere in the sky, it is necessary to generate with a laser an artificial star, which is called a Laser Guide Star.
This project includes the specification, design, manufacturing, integration and testing of all the systems that are part of the LGSF, specially the Laser System, the Laser Transfer System, the Laser Launch Telescope, the Launch Structure, the Laser Wavefront Sensor, the Laser Pointing Camera, and the Control and Safety System. the project also includes the System Engineering and the Assembly, Integration and Verification fo the LGSF. This major upgrade is necessary to support the coming era of instruments at the OOCC.
Members of the project
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The Adaptive Optics (AO) for the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) corrects the effect of the atmospheric turbulence on the light, to exploit the high spatial resolution capability of GTC. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) extends the coverage of GTCAO to any part of the sky, increasing dramatically the capability to do high spatial resolution science.
FRIDA (inFRared Imager and Dissector for Adaptive optics) is an integral field spectrograph in the near infrared, also with image mode, which will be installed in the GTC telescope. It will use the adaptive optics system of GTC (GTCAO) to observe with very high spatial resolution and spectral resolutions of up to 30,000.